Above all we know that we are called to perform good works because Jesus himself showed us that this was the way to put faith into practice. “Not everyone who says ‘Lord, Lord”, Jesus said “will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my heavenly Father.” (Matt 7:21) Jesus challenges us to realise that it is not enough to say “I believe” without putting that belief into action.
Jesus taught his disciples to recognise Him in the least of the brethren they saw around them and promised that those who fed the hungry, gave drink to the thirsty, welcomed the stranger, clothed the naked, took care of the ill or visited the prisoner, would be blessed by His Father and inherit the kingdom.
Just as we need to show that we love those closest to us rather than just saying it, so too we show our love for God by performing loving actions for those around us.
As Christians we are conscious of having been loved, forgiven and served by the Lord. We recall the image of Jesus bending to wash the feet of his disciples and of his Cross, the eternal symbol of his love for us which knows no bounds. Caught up in the love of Christ, we are led to seek out concrete ways in which we can show love to our neighbour. “We are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus for a life of good works that God had prepared for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:10).
“Love cannot remain by itself – it has no meaning. Love has to be put into action, and that action is service.” (St Teresa of Calcutta)